For this paper, you will formulate a testable hypothesis and design an experimental study to test it.
Your paper should have the following headings and subheadings (do not include the numbers). An abstract is not required.
1. Literature Review
Review the existing literature (1-2 page). A minimum of two peer-reviewed journal articles (see sample list of journals attached) must be used and properly referenced. Summarize the methods and findings of the two studies in your own words. Show how the existing research has ignored your specific question or how your research builds on the existing research. What new contribution will your experiment make to the field? Why is your experiment important or worth doing?
State your hypothesis and show how it relates to the existing literature. Make sure it is a testable and logical hypothesis. A hypothesis is often in the form of an “if-then” statement. Explicitly state the:
i. independent variable
iii. attributes for your variables
b. Sample and Setting
i. Sample: Who are they? How many? Any special features, e.g., all female,
elementary school children? Where are they from, e.g., national sample, Buffalo?
ii. Sampling Procedure: Name the technique used (e.g., multistage cluster sampling
technique) and describe how subjects were selected from the population (step by step). Is this a probability or nonprobability technique? Why are you using this technique – advantages?
iii. Setting: Describe your setting – where is your study taking place, e.g., prison, school? What does it look like?
c. Operational Definitions
State how the independent and dependent variables are operationalized by indicating exactly how you will measure the variables of interest. What apparatus or instruments are you using as measures (e.g., survey, structured observation form, police arrest data)?
i. State and define the tests used for checking the reliability (test retest, interrater) and
validity (face, criterion-related) of your instrument/measure, and describe the
procedures used for each test.
order, wording and your pretest).
iii. Create your instruments and attach them as Appendix A to your paper.
e. Design and Procedure
Design your experiment to control for plausible rival explanations. Describe your design (e.g., pretest posttest control group design) and procedures in enough detail so that anyone could replicate your experiment. Make sure that you randomly assign subjects to the control and experimental group.
i. Name and define all the potential threats to internal validity and state how your design controls for (reduces) each of them.
You will not actually conduct the experiment therefore this section will be brief.
a. State what data would be collected and what comparisons you would make.
b. State what results would support your hypothesis.
4. Discussion and Limitations
Make sure your study is ethical, i.e., voluntary participation, informed consent, no potential for harm, no deception, confidential/anonymous.
i. Create an informed consent form and attach it as Appendix B to your paper. b. Limitations to validity
Define construct, external, and statistical conclusion validity and apply each term to your study. For each term, state what threats are possible in your study. State if any threats to
internal validity remain and why you did not address them in your design (e.g., double
The original research paper should be 10 typed pages (not including title page, reference page, or appendix), double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. Use APA referencing style. Cite where your information, ideas and/or quotes are coming from in the body of the text.
Do not use footnotes or endnotes.
List all sources, and only those sources, used in the body of the paper at the end under the title
Spelling, grammar, and writing style will affect your grade.
If you are having trouble coming up with a testable hypothesis, you may use one of the following.
1. Playing violent video games results in increased aggressive behavior.
2. Participation in a sex offender treatment program is effective in reducing recidivism.
3. Young offenders sentenced to boot camps are less likely to recidivate than those sentenced to
4. Use of police body cameras reduces citizen complaints.
SAMPLE OF ACCEPTABLE CRIMINAL JUSTICE JOURNALS
American Criminal Law Review
American Journal of Criminal Justice
American Journal of Criminal Law
American Journal of Sociology
American Sociological Review
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
British Journal of Criminology
Canadian Journal of Criminology
Crime and Delinquency
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Criminal Justice Ethics
Criminal Justice Review
Criminal Law Quarterly
Criminology and Public Policy
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Journal of Crime and Justice
Journal of Criminal Justice
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
Journal of Drug Issues
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Journal of Quantitative Criminology
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Youth and Society
Women and Criminal Justice
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